The Greek yiayia is a force to be reckoned with. There are definitely perks to being a matriarch. Here’s the top 10 list for Bad Yiayia:
10 Yiayia doesn’t follow any rules. “Can’t skip the police line yiayia, you are gonna get us in trouble.” “Den me endiaferi,” she says, “ilikiomeni ginaika eimai.” She sits in the VIP sections of the soccer game without handing over a ticket.
9 Yiayia lets you know how it is. “Kala tsoula eisei!” she says when she sees granddaughter walking out with short shorts and t-shirts. “Den trepesai! O kolos sou gremetai.”
8 Yiayia can cuss when provoked. “Sto dialo bastarde” she waves at the cop with her bastouni, Tha mou peis pou na pao.”
7 Yiayia is next to fast food joints the major reason for obesity in the younger generation. “Fae paidaki mou,”
6 Yiayia is super politically incorrect. So much so she embarrasses you during parties, with neighbors and colleagues, etc. Saying things like “Gays no good. You burn in hell for this.” “Germans, na pane sto dialo. We no vote for them.”
5 Yiayia can use a pandofla and koutala as assault weapons. She has no qualms about battering children, dogs, cats or other defenseless creatures if they do not follow rules, disobey the Church or bring dirt into the house.
4 No matter how old you are, Yiayia will make you feel like you’re 5. You need to change your clothes, iron your poukamiso, go back to school, pick up your shoes, marry someone else, don’t forget to turn off the light. She will call you to see where you are past midnight even if it’s with your spouse or at a function.
3 Yiayia can be rude, esp. when it comes to waiting for her turn. She bulldozes through bystanders to get on the Express bus to go to Macys and there’s no manners when it comes to getting prosforo either. “Get outta the way! Yiayia’s got dibs.”
2 Yiayia is a snitch. Don’t think she can keep a secret. She is sly as a fox. She’s a spy for the folks. She makes like she doesn’t understand English only to eavesdrop into your boyfriend conversations so she can report back to parents. And you know that little beep on the phone, that might be yiayia on the third line. Yiayias, although cute and very gracious, are really snitches and can’t be trusted.
1 Yiayia is a killer. Back in the day, she beat up fascists and commies with a shovel. She slit throats during WWII like the chickens you see in the yard. Do not underestimate the killer instincts that are hidden underneath those crinkly wrinkles, gnarly hands, and black kerchief.
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